Outgoing CASA Principal Medical Officer Michael Drane has warned Designated Aviation Medical Examiners (DAME) that they may be subject to liability issues should their assessment be legally challenged.
Writing in his August newsletter to DAMEs, Drane said that although there had not been issues with DAME-assessed medicals so far, DAMEs needed to take care when assessing candidates for aviation medicals.
"There have been 475 [DAME-assessed medicals] completed since March, and most have been fine," Drane said. "However, please remember to follow the CASA eLearning guidance and Clinical Practice Guidelines to ensure you include sufficient information when making your assessment and record it clearly.
"It’s important that you clearly note the basis for your decision and whether further monitoring is required. Remember there’s a reason certain reports are requested and your decision needs to stand up to scrutiny in settings such as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
"Decisions failing in these areas may present medicolegal liabilities for the assessing doctor."
Up until 3 April this year, most DAMEs would perform the examination for a medical certificate, but CASA would assess the results and issue the certificate based on the DAME report. Only those examiners designated as a DAME2 would assess and issue the certificate themselves.
Under reforms instigated by CASA Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody this year, all DAMEs can now do the assessment themselves, but still have the option to refer the candidate to CASA if they wish.